Sunday, June 10, 2012

Of Poems IV


I run into an old flame.
We stand and look at each other:
her with what I hope is that mixture of
pain and regret and sadness
that comes with love’s sabotage;
me with what I can only imagine is
bitter medicine.
she raises her hand in a half-gesture—
mouth turned in a half-smile—
brow arched in a half-sympathy—
but I’m looking at her thigh:
spun around it is a tattoo,
three peonies,
black and yellow and red,
so vibrant I can’t
hear anything else,
see anything else,
feel anything else.

I’m waiting for resolution,
      cold and hard and final.
I’m looking for vengeance,
      served with warmth unbearable.
I’m fumbling for love,
      hotter still, burning inside out.

She comes back in a flash,
with a tangled skein woven
around her,
filaments flowing from
me to her, heart-strings that bind.
I pluck one—the note is
totality of feeling.
I listen, and she listens,
we’re caught up in
everything we’ve ever been together,
until the wave breaks,
and rolls back;
the web around us fades
so slowly I don’t notice,
and every day I’m
weaving, weaving, weaving.